Credit card-sized device lets patients analyse blood sample

London, May 13:

Patients suffering from kidney or heart diseases can avoid visiting hospitals for monitoring their disease status as researchers have now developed a pocket-friendly instrument. The credit card-sized device can analyse blood and saliva samples.


It is simple to use: you switch it on by pressing a button, then apply your sample to a circle in the bottom right corner and wait for a digital reading to be displayed and even sent to your mobile phone.

“The whole instrument is printed on the card using a screen-printing technique. It could be used to monitor diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease, or to detect cancer,” said the researchers.

“Until now, we have been used to going to a doctor, who endows us with some wisdom and retains information about us, and then waiting to see, if we get better. Modern sensors and telecommunications are rebalancing this power; in the future, patients could have the information, while physicians provide a service,” said Anthony Turner, professor at Linkoping University, Sweden.

According to Turner, who has developed the instrument, the new machine could turn a 2,500-year-old paradigm on its head and put the power in the patient’s hands.

“We are on the cusp of an entirely new era — not just for bio-sensing, but for measurements in healthcare and diagnostics generally,” Turner noted.

Bio-sensors can detect and analyze data to give patients information on their heart rate and blood pressure, blood sugar and hormone levels, and even test whether they are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

This detection technology is a step forward in personal medicine, giving patients real-time information about how their bodies are functioning and suggesting the most suitable treatments.

The printed instruments are the result of a collaboration between Linkoping University and Swedish ICT non-profit Acreo, and the team is now looking for corporate partners to work with to mass-produce them.

The findings were presented at Elsevier’s fourth international conference on Bio-Sensing Technology in Lisbon, Portugal on Tuesday. (IANS)

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